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Modi to visit Russian Federation on May 21 for informal summit

16 May 2018

India's external affairs ministry has said that the visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Russian city of Sochi on May 21 to hold an informal summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin would be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on worldwide matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening the "special and privileged" strategic partnership.

"This will be an important occasion for the two leaders to exchange views on global matters in a broad and long-term perspective with the objective of further strengthening our Special and Privileged Strategic partnership", the MEA said in a statement. "Both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters", added the statement.

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It would be Prime Minister Modi's second informal summit in as many months as he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in China's Wuhan in a similar format last month. Doval, who was accompanied by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale on the May 10 visit, is understood to have proposed this informal summit. But apart from bilateral interests like weapons and the impending sanctions, chances are that the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in China and ways to cope with the unpredictable and rapidly changing global situation also come up discussion. Modi had visited St. Petersburg for the 18th edition of annual bilateral summit in 2017. India and Russian Federation could discuss the Indo-Pacific maritime security issue, North Korea, issue of regional security and the trade war with United State of America, said a source. There had been some differences over Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it had never threatened the relationship, as per sources. Observers have termed the move significant to boost investments in India.

Informal summits are in - or so it would seem. The two leaders might also discuss how their two countries could counter the challenge posed to their defence cooperation by impending United States sanctions against several Russian entities involved in military supplies to India under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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India's deep military and strategic ties with Russian Federation date back to the beginning of the Cold War even as New Delhi led a movement of "non-aligned" countries that declared their tilt with neither Washington nor Moscow. Ever since the Trump administration chose to withdraw from the nuclear deal, alleging that Tehran is not fulfilling its commitments, the worldwide community has been working overtime to salvage the deal.

1 India's planned procurement from Russian Federation include the S-400 air defence system, Project 1135.6 frigates and Ka226T helicopters. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the Kremlin. The Prime Minister had met Putin in Russian Federation previous year.

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Modi to visit Russian Federation on May 21 for informal summit